notalush (5393) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 5, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I’ve been waiting for Southern Tier to make an impy stout that really wowed me - they’ve finally done it with this one - pours nearly black, with a lasting ring of soapy foam - the aroma is almost all bittersweet chocolate (it smells like the inside of a boutique chocolatier), with faint notes of espresso beans and dark berries (southern tier has been nailing aromas lately, ie. pumking) - strong coffee bitterness braces the palate against the strongly sweet chocolate flavors that are to come, making the beer seem much less sweet than it probably is (one problem their impys have had so far is their cloying sweetness - this one balances that out) - a cream sweetness and notes of caramelized sugars mix with the heavy dark chocolate flavors to give the beer a kind of hot chocolate (not hot cocoa, hot chocolate) flavor - a kind of charred character with hints of tobacco way in the back mix in to remind me of the complex notes many fine dark chocolates have - warming alcohol and a subtle spiciness on the back end - as has been stated, it’s more a chocolate beer than a chocolate-flavored impy - but if you love chocolate, you’ll love this no matter what - a wonderful beer.
jb (2539) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Interesting to have this the day after the "Oat" IS. Much drier tasting than that one. Color-wise also very black, with brown highlights. Just about no head, it certainly disappears quick. Very sweet chocolate aroma. Some of the bitterness in the palate is obliterated by the chocolate as well. A bit light and one-dimensional as an imperial stout, but enjoyable.
argo0 (12322) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 5, 2008
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(growler) Black body topped by a small tan head. Aroma is moderately sweet, chocolate -- both milk and bittersweet, some Tootsie Roll. Taste is moderately sweet, dark and milk chocolate, light lactic sourness, alcohol. Medium-full body, alcohol VERY well hidden. Not a chocolate stout as much as it is a chocolate beer. Comparable to Svaneke Choko Stout in its chocolateyness, though of course it has almost twice the alcohol. Same caveat applies -- if this type of beer appeals to you, you’ll love it, but if not....
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JAN 5, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Growler, courtesy of argo0. Thanks, Aaron! Pours an oily, chocolate-brown color; light tan head with patchy lacing. Lots of roasted malts and bitter chocolate in the aroma; dense, chewy nougat and chocolate. More of a dense sweet stout than an imperial stout; chewy bitter chocolate and lightly roasted malts and tea; chewy maltiness with a very light bittering presence; dark chocolate and nougat and roasted malts in the finish; very chewy.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JAN 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Did you ever drink a fresh, made-from-scratch fudge brownie? Me neither, but that’s pretty much what this well-crafted brew is about. Pouring it from the bottle, I was dealing with a thick, dark brown, oily gop. When it hit the glass, it turned black and was crowned by a thick cocoa head. It smelled (as cleverly hinted at above) like a fresh brownie. Full bodied, although not as dense as a dessert cake, it tasted like a fresh brownie.
This impresses me. Having no knowledge of how this beer was brewed, I’m awed by how a beer can be crafted to taste like a heavy, chocolatey cake. And, being a confessed hop-head, I scratch my hoar-head and wonder, Why?!?!?Don’t get me wrong. I like this beer. And I’m giving it a decent rating, given how stingey I am with my numbers. Someone please explain this to me.
By the by - The 11% ABV doesn’t show itself at all.
At least, until I began typing this review..........
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Beverage Depot, Plainfield, IL<font size=-1>
taffurs888 (124) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 5, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Souhern Tier has done it again. Somehow they have made a style of beer that I typically loathe, into something tasty. On draft at Fat Heads, poured a black coffee into a goblet. Aroma of delicious chocolate cake. Tastes of caramel, dark chocolate, coffee make for a tasty stout. No taste of alcohol, and not syrupy at all.
KingMoomie (5) - Poland, Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2008 does not count
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Available in bottles at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH. One of the most unique and amazing beers I have ever had. If you closed your eyes and put it under your nose you would swear you were smelling brownies. I tried it side by side with Ommegang’s Choclate Indulgence and there was no comparison.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle from swoopjones. Yeah it’s got a lot of chocolate, but so what? It’s done well. Enticing chocolate banana bread aroma with just enough bitter malt as to not be overly sweet. Pours oily dark brown, nearly black with a creamy khaki head. A gentile swirl leaves all sorts of sticky yellow legs on the glass. Thick, rich oily on the tongue. Not too much carbonation, and that works quite well in this beer. Banana, vanilla, bitter chocolate malt, milk chocolate on the tongue. 11%? Wha? Hidden quite well. A top notch dessert beer for sure... Another winner from Southern Tier.
mwelsh13 (499) - Maryland, USA - JAN 4, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pour at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD. Great chocolate aroma, with a bit of roast too. Very deep brown with an off white head. First drink is like a chocolate milkshake. Second, you taste some vanilla and some of that roast. Alcohol is present at the swallow. Normally not the type of beer for me, but it just seemed to hit the spot.
thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2008
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2008 I could sum up the entire rating with just one word: chocolate. Too damn much of it for my liking. The aroma is heavy on sweet chocolate. Black body. The palate is thick, very syrupy. Taste is cloyingly sweet with tons of chocolate syrup flavor. Tastes fake as an Orange County tit.